COGWA reports beliefs, credentialing, governance concerns, etc.

Laodicea has many ineffective structures


The Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA, a recent UCG break-away group) reported the following today at its website:

January 10, 2011 – Mike Hanisko, president of the temporary Board of Directors opened the meetings at 8:30 a.m. by asking Tom Diaz to lead the group in prayer.

The first order of business was to ballot upon two proposals for selecting the Interim Governance Team…

The committee recommends that each congregation establish a bank account with an Employer Identification Number (EIN). We do not encourage areas to collect tithes locally, but at this point that remains a local option…

As for credentialing elders, Mr. Johnson said that electronic forms will soon be sent to all elders, but the exact process of credentialing must yet be determined by the Interim Governance Team. New ordination certificates will be issued as soon as the credentialing is completed…

Bruce Gore, Chairman of the long-term governance committee, updated everyone on the work of this committee. He thanked everyone for the input that has been given, including over 60 papers on this subject that have come from members and ministers. He noted that the papers represented the widest possible range of ideas.

He shared with everyone that the committee plans to offer several options for governance to the organization. If possible, we want to avoid mistakes of the past. Answering the question, “Can you guarantee that this won’t happen again?” he said, “No. But we all want to reduce politics and the turnover of administrators. We also want to minimize the amount of balloting.”…

the men who served on the Temporary Leadership Team and those who served on the Temporary Board now become the Interim Governance Team. Those serving on the Interim Leadership Team are Jim Franks, Doug Horchak, Clyde Kilough, David Register and Richard Thompson. Those serving on the Interim Board are George Evans, Ken Giese, Mike Hanisko, Greg Sargent and Roger West. Richard Pinelli next addressed the care of congregations. Mr. Pinelli reported that we have 54 pastors and administrators from the United States plus 14 international pastors who have resigned or been fired from our previous organization…

Mr. Franks then shared a document establishing our commitment to doctrinal integrity. This includes the following principles:

  1. We commit our support for the 20 fundamental beliefs as developed and approved by the elders in 1995.
  2. We commit to establishing a doctrinal review process for all publications that contain doctrinal material, whether posted on the Internet or printed. This process must involve levels of review and include senior ministers known for their doctrinal integrity.
  3. We commit to establishing a committee for doctrinal oversight, entrusted with the responsibility of resolving doctrinal conflict and answering doctrinal questions from within the organization, among the elders and among the membership.
  4. We commit to providing a process by which any elder or member may submit doctrinal questions and/or material for doctrinal review. This process will provide for several levels of review by senior ministers.

Ken Treybig then gave a presentation on preaching the gospel. We want to assure everyone that we are committed to doing this he said. Continuing, he noted that we must fulfill the commission Christ gave the Church. How we can do this with a smaller group? Perhaps it will have to be done in a measured way, most likely with an Internet focus, but also with print…

Balloting for the name of the new organization was then conducted by Jon Pinelli, who outlined the five choices and explained how the list had been narrowed to that number.

The above was not there yesterday, and for some reason, the COGWA website dropped off what it reported about January 11, 2011 (which was at the website last night, and only last night as far as I can tell).  Of course, technical problems happen with start-ups so that is understandable.

Since the leaders of COGWA have been used to having such a large portion of church income used for matters other than proclaiming the gospel it does not seem likely that they would truly change in approach. Another reason I believe this is that proclaiming the gospel was the lowest of 6 priorities that COGA (whose leaders now seemingly have affiliation with COGWA) established.  Using the internet is a less expensive way to reach people and may be what COGWA will hope will work as its primary means to try to accomplish Matthew 24:14.

In all that I have read about WHY the 150 or so ministers/elders left UCG in the past year, none whose resignation letters I recall reading have seemed to give lack of focus on proclaiming the gospel as the main reason for leaving UCG (United Church of God).

If you are or were part of UCG and are confused about what to do, please pray, fast, and study the Bible about this. Decide if you wish to follow the lukewarm or those that Jesus Christ has truly been using to do the work–those who have had the same basic governing principles for over 40 years.

I realize that neither I, Dr. Meredith, nor others in LCG are perfect. But hopefully we are trying to do the work that the Bible indicates that the church most faithful to the words of Jesus would do.

Those affected by this crisis who wish to support a more effective gospel-proclaiming organization should, despite our flaws, consider checking out LCG, as it has stood for proper church governance and the work since its foundation (which preceded its formation).

It’s decision time for those who have been affiliated with UCG. Most of those part of the COGWA and UCG leadership have already demonstrated, to me at least, that neither group intends to be Philadelphian. But that the choice of LCG still remains.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Those Laodiceans in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will likely be affected sooner by the coming Great Tribulation than the Laodiceans in other lands.

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